Internet Revenues–Showing Up Just Isn’t Enough

While selling commercial printing directly over the Internet is a concept yet to be embraced by the industry at large, some of the leading printers are showing the way in terms of innovation. One of those leaders, R.R. Donnelley & Sons, of Chicago, has found several avenues for providing Internet commerce.

Match Made in Internet
Select Source is an electronic commerce solution from Donnelley that integrates catalog merchandise into specialized Web sites. The idea behind it, according to Donnelley Communication Manager Vera Panchak, is to marry catalogers with germane editorial on high-traffic Web sites. It is only fitting that one of the first matches Donnelley made was with the Wedding Channel’s Web site, combining wedding-related editorial with catalog products.

“Obviously, there’s some linkage with our own catalog customers and helping them repurpose their content,” Panchak remarks. “Some of the Web sites this content is integrated into are iVillage, the Wedding Channel and HouseNet. As we’re tracking this, our model is showing us that we’re successfully converting online browsers to online shoppers at a faster rate than banner ads on the Web are doing.”

Donnelley has taken it a step further with HouseNet, which is the company’s own community of interest site. HouseNet is aimed at home and garden buffs who exchange ideas and, ultimately, purchase products and services relating to home improvement and gardening.

HouseNet provides additional distribution channels for content from magazine and book publishers, according to Panchak. “The publishers who partner with HouseNet are able to build their online brand and get new revenue streams because they share the advertising revenues from HouseNet,” she notes.

With as diverse a media outlet as the Internet, Panchak feels there are unlimited possibilities for the printing industry in terms of online commerce, including selling printing. She says the company is exploring various Web applications.

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